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Sharjah: An Indian expat’s journey back home for good after 43 years in the UAE has ended in tragedy after he died in a car crash just a few kilometres away from his home.

Rajan Pillai, 62, flew home on Saturday night after recently retiring from Sharjah Police, where he had worked for 30 years, his shocked neighbours and colleagues said.

His son and brother, who had gone to pick him up from the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport in the south Indian state of Kerala, were also injured in the accident early on Sunday morning, they said.

“His son Amal was in a critical condition till this morning. His brother sustained minor injuries but is in severe shock and despair,” V. P. Sreekumar, a Sharjah resident who had studied with another younger brother of Rajan, told Gulf News on Monday.

He said he was told that the brother was driving the car which collided with a bus.

According to him, Rajan had come over to the UAE 43 years ago.

“Two of his elder brothers had earlier returned home for good from the UAE. They had retired from Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority.”

E.P. Johnson, president of Sharjah Indian Association, who also hails from Sooranad in Kollam district, the hometown of Rajan, said the accident had taken place when Rajan was just 10minutes away from reaching home.

“It is a very tragic news. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family.”

He said a child had died on the same spot last year. “The child had fallen off a scooter driven by the mother and was run over by a lorry.”

Colleagues of Rajan, who was an employee with the Electronic and Service Department of Sharjah Police, said they were also shocked to hear the news.

“We are very sad that this happened to him. He was one of the oldest employees here. Nobody expected this twist in fate for him,” said one of them.